Saturday, November 01, 2008

Must we abandon everything we do to survive?

By Carol Gee

Quote of the day: "Every organization must be prepared to abandon everything it does to survive in the future." ~ Peter Drucker

We as a nation must be willing to abandon the old ways that do not work. We will be required to learn how to get along with our adversaries, to find common ground. New governing solutions will be required to deal with the crashing waves of problems in the wake of 8 years of Republican rule. And the Republican Party will have to abandon what it has recently been doing in order to survive.

McCain can only stand by helplessly blustering as tensions rise and Palin splits the nation and the party. Writing a guest opinion piece for the BBC, former Bush deputy assistant, Peter Wehner, conceded that the Republicans will lose on November 4. The bulk of his article is a scathing indictment of Obama; the concession came as his conclusion. To quote:

And even if you were inclined to believe that Senator Obama will govern as a centrist - a questionable claim, given his record - the Democratic Party will hold a commanding position in the House and Senate.

Speaker Pelosi and majority leader Reid and their committee chairmen - many of them partisan, ideological, and ruthless - will exert enormous pressure on Obama to move left.

From all we know about him, Senator Obama will not resist it or defy them. And that, in turn, will lead to overreach.

Which is why even though next Tuesday will be a difficult day for Republicans and conservatives, the wise ones will understand that our moment will come again, and perhaps sooner than we think.

Our task is to be ready.

After World War II a group of disparate nations in Europe had to abandon insularity and unhealthy competition in order to unite, forming the European Union. An anchor nation, Great Britain is our closest ally. What do they think of our political races? The Financial Times did a survey of influential people in the United Kingdom about the upcoming U.S. presidential election. These are a couple of the results (see linked charts, also):

  • Who would you like to see win the election? Obama: 74%, McCain: 16%, Don't know: 10%
  • Who do you believe will win the election? Obama: 72%, McCain: 13%, Don't know: 15%

America has always had to change in order to survive, leaving the old ways that were not working behind. Jurek Martin writes in the London Financial Times that America has a staggering capacity for change. That is good to hear because we are about to "do a 180" after 8 horrendous years with the failing Bush administration. William Drodziak says in Germany's Deutche Welle that Obama will go down in history. To quote:

Many pundits ask indeed why anybody would want a job so fraught with peril.

An advised transition: Obama has approached this staggering task with cool methodology. He has appointed two experienced advisors to head the executive transition teams that will put together his new government.

. . . In short, America and the world will probably wake up on the morning of Nov. 5 to a dramatically different government taking over in the United States. If Obama can fulfill the hopes and ambitions of the millions of American voters yearning for change, he will go down in history books as a transformational leader who brought the United States back from the precipice of decline as a world power and restored its original sense of purpose as a stalwart defender of democratic values and human rights.

In recent times we have not voted for President wisely, twice. In 2008 we hope that enough voter gullibility will be abandoned that wise choices of our leaders can prevail. Some of us think that Barack Obama has the capacity to be a good Servant-Leader. The Senate must abandon gridlock; the House must abandon Minority walk-outs. The president, the voters, the Congress, the courts -- we must unite and refine the art of follower-ship to survive as a nation. The whole world is watching.

(Cross-posted at South by Southwest.)

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